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Draft Question (another long one)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; In the recent years (10 or so), the Saints have been notorious for grabbing D-line and WR's in the first round. We've taken a few O-line guys early also but as I can remember, we got Charles Grant, Will Smith ...

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Old 01-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #1
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Draft Question (another long one)

In the recent years (10 or so), the Saints have been notorious for grabbing D-line and WR's in the first round. We've taken a few O-line guys early also but as I can remember, we got Charles Grant, Will Smith one or two years later, Sedrick Ellis, Jonathan Sullivan, Cam Jordan, and then on to Stallworth, Meachem, Henderson (2nd I think). I don't know if its a trend or not.
Now around the NFL, you'll notice some similar trends. QB's almost always take #1, Oakland (if I'm correct) is the only team to target a kicker early, LB's, TE's, CB's and centers don't show up in the bottom 16 nearly as often as other positions.
My question is:
Does any have or has anyone heard stats on which position is most likely to work out? I mean is there a chance that D-line has a propencity for gaining weight, or being psyched out by powerful veterans? Is there a chance that TE's excell (one L or two?) and WR's have trouble catching passes in traffic? It seems like DB's play two different games in the NCAA and NFL because they take time to develop.
I was just wondering. We've drafted two DT's in the last 10 years both of which busted. We've taken a few T/G's early and they seemed to work out. Lots of them playing their way out of town and into huge contracts. I can't remember the last time we took a LB early.

Anyone got any ideas?
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #2
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We'll...I wouldn't put much stock in anything before the '05 draft because that was our first draft with Loomis. So that gives us '05 T J. Brown, '06 RB R. Bush, '07 WR Meachem, '08 DT Ellis, '09 DB Jenkins, '10 CB Robinson, '11 DE Jordan, RB Ingram.

All of that being said, we don't have a first round pick. Best case scenario, a highly rated player falls for whatever reason. I can see Donta Hightower, at best, falling to us in the second. Instant contributor.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:49 AM   #3
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It makes me feel slightly dumb that I may have given the impression that I was wondering what we were going to do this year with our 1st round pick (that we doon't have, obviously)
I was speaking more generally about the NFL as a whole. Sullivan would have been taken pretty high(not a #6) whether it was us or not. I forgot about Brown and in my opinion, Bush doesn't count. We picked him as a cheerleader; a mascot to dance around and do backflips.
D-line has to be the most overrated in the draft. I'm gonna go back and look at the last 5 years or so and come up with an opinion. I'll be back.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JimmyB1775 View Post
My question is:
Does any have or has anyone heard stats on which position is most likely to work out?

I think that boils down to the scouting department of each organization more than anything else. Certain scouts are better at evaluating offensive players than defensive players and vice versa - the same I think goes for individual positions, and f.e. players coming from certain college divisions.

There are usually so many unknowns related to drafting that it would be hard to formulate a statistical representation of which position has the best chance of succeeding in the NFL, because for one how do you rate a certain draft pick a success? It can't be the same for a 1st round pick, a 4th round pick or a 7th round pick... and certain players are picked to fill a certain spot in a roster (f.e. special teams), and while succeeding to fill that particular spot, they might not seem to have contributed much to the team in the eyes of a standard fan.

In order to formulate such a statistical representation we would have to know what the expectations were for the particular pick and then we would have to have the staff grading numbers on their performances, and finally compare those two to come up with some type of an overall grade for the success of the pick.

So, in other words, it is (nearly) impossible to scientifically state which position is the most likely to work out.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:40 AM   #5
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Understood. I bet freakonomics has an explanation.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JimmyB1775 View Post
I can't remember the last time we took a LB early.

Anyone got any ideas?
Some of this particular thing about linebackers might have a bit to do with Gregg Williams. I don't have stats or numbers on it or anything, but this is one of the Gregg Williams "things" that he has done, with virtually every defense he's ever had. When GW first came here, I went on the internet and read every single article I could find, local articles about his previous defenses in Washington and Tennessee (particularly the unfavorable articles as he was leaving town, LOL). Just to learn about him, and figure out what happened in Washington, why he wasn't picked for their head coach and why his defenses there weren't always so hot.

And Gregg Williams defenses all kinda have this trend towards having one REALLY GOOD linebacker you lock onto (in our case, Vilma) and then a lot of these sorta faceless, anonymous, plug-and-play, Shanle-type linebacker guys floating around the one really good one. That's kind of one of GW's trademark things, having the one anchor LB and then these other sort of random interchangeable linebackers who are just guys, and never GAME CHANGING MONSTERS. It's something about his scheme, or what he likes, I guess.

So who knows, that may all change with Spagnuolo, I don't know.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Crap shoot.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Danno straightened me out the other day when I said that our early rounds just haven't produced. We are fortunate to have a scouting dept. that understands potential.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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We've drafted 4 LB's in the Payton/Loomis era (6 years).
Mitchell (7th)
Arnoux (4th)
Wilson (3rd)
Bussey (7th)

Hey Mick, can you throw a brotha' a 2nd rounder maybe?
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